City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; New State Data Dashboard; Support from City of Norton
For Immediate Release: April 9, 2020
The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care, and keep six feet apart from others when in public. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Virginia Department of Health Provides Weekly COVID-19 Report
This week, the Virginia Department of Health launched a new Weekly COVID-19 Activity Report, a dashboard showing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in Virginia. The site provides data on the number of confirmed cases, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID-19. The dashboard also includes regional data on emergency room visits; aggregate data by age, sex and race; and the overall status of the pandemic in Virginia. Data on age, sex and race is collected by individual healthcare providers as they see patients.
A significant number of cases do not include reported race and ethnicity, and AHD cautions against drawing conclusions with incomplete datasets and without historical and systemic context. Risk of COVID-19 infection is primarily based on individual exposure to the COVID-19 virus, not an individual's demographics. AHD is working to produce a local version of this data analysis.
Resolution of Support from Norton, Virginia
The City of Alexandria has received a resolution of support from the City of Norton, a partner locality under Governor Ralph Northam’s Local Government Exchange Program. The Norton City Council’s April 7 resolution offers sympathy for those who have lost their lives and their family members; expresses its “great admiration for all first responders and other medical personnel that are on the front lines of this crisis,” and “extends our thoughts and prayers of support to the City Council, City staff, and the great people of Alexandria.” The Local Government Exchange Program, which began its pilot phase in February, is designed to bridge cultural and geographical divides across Virginia; help localities learn about each other’s challenges and opportunities; and build and strengthen statewide partnerships.
21 New COVID-19 Cases in Alexandria, Bringing the Total to 170
On April 9, the Alexandria Health Department confirmed 21 additional cases of COVID-19 in Alexandria, bringing the total to 170 (including one fatality). Many of the recent results were from tests done four to eight days prior. This lag in test results underscores the continued need for all community members to stay home as much as possible, even if they don't have a diagnosed illness. AHD is contacting all confirmed cases and providing them guidance to give to their close contacts (people who came within six feet of cases for more than 10 minutes). AHD is also calling close contacts of confirmed cases in high risk settings (e.g. nursing homes, assisted living facilities, healthcare centers). All close contacts are asked to self-quarantine and actively monitor for fever and respiratory symptoms. If they start experiencing symptoms, they are advised to seek medical care if their symptoms are severe or if they are healthcare workers or first responders. The rise in positive cases is likely due to a combination of additional testing capacity through private healthcare providers as well as an increase in community transmission.
If You Have Symptoms of COVID-19
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are coughing, fever of over 100.4 F, and shortness of breath. Use the CDC's Coronavirus Self-Checker to review your symptoms. If you are concerned you may have COVID-19, call your healthcare provider to ask whether you should come for an exam or test before visiting in person. Most people who get COVID-19 recover on their own at home and do not need testing or treatment. Anyone with symptoms of respiratory illness should isolate themselves; avoid contact with other people; wash their hands frequently; and disinfect surfaces regularly.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and believe you've been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, call the Alexandria COVID-19 Information Line at 703.746.4988, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Alexandria Health Department does not provide COVID-19 diagnosis or testing. If you need a letter about your health status, contact your healthcare provider. If AHD has contacted you directly for active monitoring or quarantine, AHD can provide a letter for your employer clearing you to return to work once that is complete.
Protect Yourself and Others, Especially Vulnerable Community Members
- Wash Your Hands. Rub hands together with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use Hand Sanitizer. If you can’t wash your hands, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol as you would wash your hands, rubbing them together for 20 seconds.
- Don’t Touch Your Face. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay Home. If you are feeling sick, stay home. If you are well, avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Use Your Elbow. Cough and sneeze into your elbow, not your hand. Alternatively, cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, and wash your hands.
- Disinfect Surfaces. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Manage Stress. The CDC recommends taking breaks from exposure to the news; take deep breaths or meditate; try to eat healthy; get sleep or rest; make time to do activities you enjoy; and connect with others to share your feelings.
To receive text message alerts from the City related to COVID-19, text ALEXCOVID19 to 888777. For more information about the COVID-19 coronavirus and how you can help protect yourself and those around you, visit alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus . For questions about COVID-19, call the Alexandria COVID-19 Information Line at 703.746.4988, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Virginia residents can also call the Virginia Department of Health public information line, 877.ASK.VDH3, for questions about the novel coronavirus situation. If you have chest pain or shortness of breath, call or text 911.
For inquiries from the news media only, contact Craig Fifer, Director of Communications and Public Information, at email@example.com or 703.746.3965.
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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/114646.